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Inquest touching on the death of RE


Daniel Walker, instructed by Georgia Ford of Capsticks Solicitors, was instructed to represent an NHS Hospital Trust (‘the Trust’) at a 10-day Article 2 Jury Inquest before HMAC Darren Stewart (‘HMAC’) at Winchester Coroner’s Court.

RE had a history of mental health problems, lived in supported accommodation and was under the care of community mental health services. On the day prior to his death, he was arrested by police for public order matters and following his presentation on transportation to the police station he was taken to Hospital. It was suggested by police officers that RE had expressed suicidal ideation to ambulance staff and medical staff at the hospital. Medical staff, to the contrary, stated that RE only expressed concerns about chest pain and despite presenting with self-harm marks did not express suicidal ideation. Whilst RE was in hospital, no mental health assessment was carried out by the Trust’s medical team. As a result, RE was not diverted to the psychiatric liaison service. Tests were carried out in relation to chest pain and RE was deemed fit to be discharged back to the police. RE refused to be assessed in custody and following the police issuing a caution for public order offences, he was released from custody. Following his release from custody, RE went to his supported accommodation and hung himself.

Daniel made written and oral submissions in relation to withdrawing any alleged causative failings from the Jury concerning the care that RE received whilst in Hospital. Daniel argued that a combination of factors following RE’s treatment in hospital broke the chain of causation between any alleged Trust failing and RE’s death. Any reliance on alleged failings in the Trust’s care was too remote as to be causative and would invite speculation from the Jury. The Coroner accepted the submissions and withdrew from the jury any alleged causative failings on behalf of the Trust.

The jury returned a conclusion of Suicide.

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